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Those bath houses really got to me!

  • Name: Kim Brown
  • Destination: Minnachuchi, Japan
  • When: Summer, 1985
  • Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
  • Organization:

Ukimi Temple, Lake Biwa, Shiga prefecture, central Honshu, Japan.

Ukimi Temple, Lake Biwa, Shiga prefecture, central Honshu, Japan. © Digital Vision/Getty Images

 

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We went to this placed called Lake Biwaka — it’s on the main island of Honshu.

 

It’s one of largest lakes there, and they have casinos, Lake Tahoe-Las Vegas kind of area there.  They have shows and it’s a  big deal to go as a family.

 

They also have communal baths and communal showers and things of that nature.

 

We went there to go to one of those — my host mother and I — and I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me to do.  You had to wash a certain way in a certain space and then rinse off in another space to get in.  I didn’t realize there was a major partition that separated the men from the women, and oh my gosh, I went in the wrong section and I was bowing, and of course when you’re bowing you get closer to looking at stuff.

 

I was so embarrassed!  

 

I had my hands in my eyes, and I was backing up and bumping into people.  I just got so flustered.  I yelled Kacha! Come and get me!  All the people were looking at me like who is this crazy Americanyoung girl, what is she doing.  Some were laughing and snickering and she got me over it.

 

She was like, Kim, you do as me.  I stayed very close to her from then on!  I didn’t let her out of my sight.  I did everything she did.  I was so embarrassed. I was 15 and getting naked in front of all these people, it was like oh my gosh.   Those bath houses really got me!  I never got used to them, either.

 

 

 

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